A Pragmatic Analysis of Margaret Ogola’s the River and the Source and I Swear by Apollo

Nicholas Onyango Oloo, Prof. Francis OwinoRew, Dr. Robert Onyango Ochieng’


This paper aims at interrogating the significance of pragmatics in analyzing Margaret Ogola’s two novels; The River and the Source (1994) and I swear by Apollo (2002). The researcher analyses the characters’ conversational turns in the novels using Austin (1962) and Searle 1969 Speech Act Theory. The study employs an analytical research design using a mixed method data analysis. The findings indicate that every utterance used by a character performs three simultaneous acts namely; a locutionary, an illocutionary and perlocutionary. In addition, the data shows that every utterance produced by a character in the novels could be categorized under one of the five major categories speech acts proposed by Searle (1969); representatives, expressive, directives, commisives or declarations. The study found that the representatives are the most dominant in both novels while declarations the least. The study also reveals that each major speech act contains a wide range of sub acts or illocutionary forces which are distinguished based on their felicity conditions. The study therefore proposes that pragmatic analysis be adopted as an effective tool in the analysis of the characters’ verbal interactions in novels. In addition, further research could be conducted on pragmatic analysis of novels by other writers.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/eltls.v1n2p88


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